M.D. of Opportunity Council notebook

March 13, 2024 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Agreement extended with Red Earth club

The Red Earth Creek Rod & Gun Club had asked for permission to use the old community hall for an additional three years. Council was okay with that and passed the appropriate motion.

The terms are to be the same as before – at a rate of $1 per year.

The club holds meetings and events at the hall, and according to the application letter from the club, has had “great success with the building.”

Financial report

Director of Finance for the M.D., Trina Mineault, reported a figure for revenue to date of about $2.2 million, and expenditures of $7.8 million.

Spent on capital projects as of the reporting date was just over $2 million – mainly on vehicles.

Job openings

As always, in the report from the director of corporate and regulatory services was a component on the human resources situation. Council heard that fire chiefs for Sandy Lake and Calling Lake were still needed. So were early childhood educators, community peace officers for Wabasca, and a regional fire chief.

Abandoned wells

The M.D. is looking at ‘nominating’ abandoned wells within municipal boundaries for a reclamation project. The report in council’s agenda package doesn’t say so, but presumably there is funding to clean up these sites. There are 42 of them in Red Earth Creek, according to the report, seven in Wabasca, one in Sandy Lake and five in Calling Lake.

Once a well is nominated for the program, the owner of the well is notified, and must submit a work plan to the Alberta Energy Regulator, identifying the contractor. Neither the M.D. nor Bigstone Cree Nation has any say in who is hired to do the work, council heard.

Naming a road in Calling Lake

A new residential subdivision in Calling Lake is nearing completion, and a road within it needs a name. The developer has suggested ‘Whitetail Drive.’

Council has final say on any road names, and liked the suggestion, voting in favour of a motion to approve Whitetail Drive.

Child care fee adjusted

Council voted in favour of an amendment to the M.D.’s policy on child care, upping the monthly rate for the first, or eldest child to $1,000. The report says only five children would be affected by this change, and only by $25 each.

The monthly fee for additional children in a family using the service is $750.

Calling Lake street lights

Back in October, council decided better-lit streets in Calling Lake would be a good idea, and added $40,000 to the budget for that purpose. Getting quotes on the lights took longer than expected. The ones that came in on March 7 add up to more than $40,000, for 21 new lights in five locations.

What council approved was 21 lights for $45,965.38.

Veg. maintenance in Sandy Lake

FireSmart vegetation management is scheduled for M.D. hamlets this year, and council was asked to approve the recommended candidates for the work. Accordingly, Eric Auger & Sons gets the job for veg. management in Sandy Lake (for $64,683) and Wabasca ($39,297).

For Calling Lake, the job goes to Cortex Management, for $44,400. The Red Earth Creek FireSmart maintenance contract was awarded to Waymor Construction, for $42,120.

Those prices added up to $35,000 more than the M.D. had budgeted for FireSmart vegetation management this year, so council voted to add that amount to the budget.

Trucks for firefighting

Council awarded the purchase of two one-ton trucks, with wildland skids, to a company called Sea Hawk, for a price of $338,526. The report in council’s package does not say how much the M.D. had budgeted for the trucks; it did say the intent was to locate them in Calling Lake and Sandy Lake.

However, administration’s thinking had changed on that in the meantime; the recommendation was to put one of the trucks in Wabasca, and the other in Calling Lake.

Council didn’t go for it. The motion was to go with the initial allocation.

Force main mulching

Mulching at the ‘Wabasca lagoon force main’ will be done by Kisikaw Compliance, for a price of $77,175. This was the third highest (also the third lowest) bidder of five for the work. Administration, making the recommendation, expressed reservations about the two lower bidders.

The work is to clear a 10.5-kilometre swath, 10 metres wide, along the sewer force main to the lagoon.

Support for wolf bounty

One of the letters in council’s agenda is from Peerless Trout First Nation (PTFN) Chief Gilbert Okemow, having to do with the M.D.’s wolf bounty program. PTFN supports the program. Wolves have been preying on colts in the communities, Okemow says.

“Council and I wish to communicate our support for the measures implemented by the municipality as long as the wolves are harvested in lawful and acceptable methods,” the letter says.

Share this post

Post Comment